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Nephropathy: Kidney Damage In Diabetes

The kidneys perform vital tasks in the human body. One of them is the formation of urine (urine). With this, the organism eliminates toxins and waste products of the metabolism, which filter the blood from urine. Also, the nephrons are involved in the control of the salt and water balance, affect the blood pressure and secrete essential hormones like erythropoietin for the formation of RBC’s.

Diabetes damages tiny vessels in the kidneys

For the filtration process, countless small balls of blood vessels are responsible, the kidney corpuscles. Persistently elevated blood sugar in diabetes damages the inner walls of blood vessels of these nephric filters. This permanently affects the filtering performance of the kidneys. Kidney function test can help you in checking the severity of renal damage.

This kidney damage, also called diabetic nephropathy, is favored by other typical side effects of diabetes. These include high blood pressure and lipid metabolism disorders. These not only promote the development of nephropathy but also accelerate their progression.

Kidney failure threatens

If nephropathy is too late or left untreated, the kidneys may fail their service. In the advanced stage of such renal insufficiency, patients are referred for a lifelong regular blood wash (dialysis) or kidney transplantation.

Kidney damage can occur at an early stage of diabetes and initially causes no discomfort. Symptoms usually show up only when the kidneys are already severely impaired. The best idea is to go for DPTA renal scan if you experience any pain during urination.

Diagnosis of diabetic kidney damage

Elevated urinary albumin levels may indicate diabetic kidney damage. A doctor can detect the protein in the laboratory based on a morning urine sample. If the albumin-creatinine quotient determined in this case is more than 30 mg albumin / g creatinine in women and more than 20 mg albumin / g creatinine in men, there is a suspicion of albuminuria and thus kidney damage. Since the albumin levels are subject to natural fluctuations and may be increased for reasons other than nephropathy, a second test must confirm the result. If there is no increased concentration, a third sample is necessary.

If KFT test confirms the suspicion of kidney damage, the doctor may initiate further investigations to make a more accurate diagnosis. The sooner diabetic nephropathy is recognized, the better are the chances of treatment. People with diabetes should, therefore, have their urine tested for protein once a year. In type 1 diabetes from the fifth year of illness, in type 2 diabetes from the time of diagnosis. After all, the latter type of diabetes has been causing unnatural damage in the body for many years until a doctor discovers it.

Other organs endangered

If there is evidence of kidney damage, sufferers should be thoroughly examined. On one hand, there may be a number of causes that require treatment - even those that have nothing to do with diabetes. On the other hand, in diabetic nephropathy often vessels in other areas of the body are damaged, so there may be more complications. Especially the eyes are often affected. But heart, vessels or legs should be checked.

For therapy, the doctor prescribes preferably drugs from the group of ACE inhibitors or AT1 blockers in case of intolerance. Well-adjusted values for blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipids can also help prevent further damage to the vessels.

When Do I Need to Undergo a LFT ?

Liver testing for diseases is also carried out during pregnancy (ideally at the planning stage), before surgery and a course of treatment involving the administration of potent drugs.

When can an LFT test be required? It is recommended to regularly examine the most important organs and systems of the body for prophylactic purposes. But there are a number of symptoms that signal that verification is required as quickly as possible. Thus, the liver should be examined immediately if you notice the following signs of organ dysfunction:

Discomfort in the lower pair of ribs on the right is one of the first manifestations of liver problems. Barely noticeable nagging pains, tingling may accompany unusual sensations and a feeling of constriction or overcrowding in the area of the liver. Usually, they make themselves felt when laughing, talking loudly or shouting, sneezing, sharp sideways, lifting weights, as well as after eating fatty, smoked, fried or spicy foods. At first, a new feeling may not cause pain or tangible discomfort- in this case; they also say: “I found out where the liver is.” This is a reason to be wary, because even mild symptoms may indicate the initial stage of the serious hepatic disease.

The liver is enlarged. The change in the dimensions of the main gland is accurately recorded by ultrasound, but you can notice the changes yourself. This will indicate a bulging belly without an increase in overall fullness and with virtually no weight gain. The especially noticeable symptom in people with thin physique.

Unpleasant taste in the mouth. Patients with chronic liver problems have a constant dry mouth and bitterness on the tongue, sometimes with a characteristic flavor that is defined as “copper.” At the same time, an astringent feeling is noted in the mouth; taste sensations are reduced. Habitual food can cause rejection, even nausea and the urge to vomit.

Weight loss on the background of the asthenic syndrome. This symptom is largely a consequence of the previous one. Food rejection, loss of taste, nausea lead to a decrease in diet, which leads to weight loss. At the same time, the patient complains of unreasonable irritability, as well as weakness, drowsiness, fatigue, because the body's energy requirements are not met, and the toxic effects of impaired nitrogenous (protein) metabolism greatly increase- with an increased concentration of ammonia in the blood, secondary (hepatic) hyperammonemia occurs.

Jaundice is a common complex of symptoms, which is expressed in the yellowness of the skin, mucous membranes and whites of the eyes, as well as in dark urine, itching, and peeling of the skin, in chills, bone, and joint pain, and is caused by problems with the liver.

What does a liver function test reveal?

  • The fact of the disease, its degree, the level of liver failure;
  • The presence and degree of histological (cellular) changes in the structure of the liver tissue, such as fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver;
  • Diagnosis of specific liver diseases - viral and autoimmune hepatitis, fatty hepatosis.

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